Urgency To Spend Accelerates ECommerce

comScore reported its tracking of holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 37 days of the November - December 2008 holiday season. In addition, Compete, Inc. provides a additional perspective of the shopping traffic.

For the holiday season through December 7, $15.63 billion has been spent online, essentially the same level compared to the corresponding days last year, says comScore. During the first week since Cyber Monday (December 1 - December 7), sales totaled $4.45 billion, up 7 percent versus year ago.

2008 Holiday Season Retail SpendingTo Date vs. Corresponding Days in 2007 Total U.S. Home/Work/University Locations

Holiday Season to Date

Millions ($)

 

 

 2007 

2008

Pct Change

November 1 - December 7

$15,624

$15,628

0%

December 1 - 7  

$4,140

$4,449

7%

Source: comScore, Inc, December 2008.??

 comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, said  "... The compressed shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year means that there is now a greater sense of urgency in order to get all of one's shopping completed in time... "

 An analysis of referral activity reveals that 33.4 percent of all online sales in 2008 were driven by referral activity, up slightly from 32.8 percent in 2007.

While search remains the dominant referral activity, accounting for 55 percent of referred dollar sales during the season-to-date, it is down slightly from 57 percent last year. Meanwhile, e-mail has accounted for 16 percent of referred dollars, up 5 percentage points from last year, reflecting retailers' heavier use of e-mail marketing programs this season.

Source of Referred  E-Commerce Retail Dollars Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2008 vs. Corresponding Shopping Days in 2007 Total U.SHome/Work/University Locations

Referral Tactic

e-Commerce Sales by Source of Referral

 

2007

2008

Search

56.7%

54.5%

e-mail

11.0%

16.1%

Comparison Shopping

2.5%

4.7%

Coupons 

1.1%

1.8%

Other Categories 

28.7%

22.9%

Source: comScore, Inc., December 2008

 

 

The fastest growing product categories during the period from December 1 through December 5 were Sport & Fitness and Consumer Electronics (which saw sales surge as a result of significant price reductions on many items, including flat panel TVs.)

Apparel & Accessories, the second largest retail category in terms of dollar sales (after Computer Hardware) during this period, also experienced strong gains. The softest retail categories include Music, Movies & Videos, and Jewelry & Watches.

Growth in Retail E-Commerce Retail Spending Categories by Dollar Sales Dec. 1- Dec. 5, 2008 vs. Corresponding Shopping Days in 2007 Total U.S. Home/Work/University Locations

Retail Category

Y/Y Percent Change in Category Sales ($)

Sport & Fitness 

35%

Consumer Electronics

24%

Apparel & Accessories 

16%

Toys

16%

Books & Magazines

10%

Video Games, Consoles & Accessories

9%

Computer Hardware

2%

Home, Garden & Furniture

0%

Flowers, Greetings & Gifts 

 -8%

Jewelry & Watches

-22%

Music, Movies & Videos 

-24%

Source: comScore, Inc, December 2008

During the five-day period since Cyber Monday, traffic to the retail site category is up 2 percent versus year ago, with many sites drawing a substantial number of visitors. eBay topped the list, while three of the top ten retailer sites saw gains versus year ago.

Visitor Growth at Top Retailer Sites Dec. 1- Dec. 5, 2008 vs. Corresponding Shopping Days in 2007 Total U.S. Home/Work/University Locations

 

 Unique Visitors (000)

 

 

 2007

2008

Percent Change

Total Retail Site Category 

118,393

121,271

2%

   eBay 

40,180

36,631

 -9%

   Amazon Sites 

26,859

29,505

10%

   Wal-Mart 

18,183

19,514

7%

   Target Corporation

16,273 

15,905

 -2%

   Apple Inc.

9,290

11,943

29%

   Best Buy Sites

9,350

8,561

 -8%

   JCPenney Sites

6,657

 6,435

-3%

   Overstock.com 

6,930

5,874

-15%

   Toysrus Sites

6,434

5,969

 -7%

   Dell

6,740

5,611

-17%?

Source: comScore, Inc., December 2008

  

2008 Holiday Online Retail Spending by Key Time Period Online Retail Holiday Consumer Spending Total U.S. Home/Work/University Locations Versus Corresponding Shopping Days in 2007 Relative to Thanksgiving

 

Millions ($)

 

 

 2007

2008

Pct Change

January - October

$93,551

 $102,144

9%

comScore Holiday Season Forecast (Nov-Dec)

$29,169

$29,200

0%

November 27 (Thanksgiving Day)

$273

$288

6%

November 28 (Black Friday)

$531

$534

1%

December 1 (Cyber Monday)

 $733

$846

15%

Source: comScore, Inc., December 2008

And, retail visitors as seen from a different perspective from Compete Data, Holiday Retail Shopping. Online traffic surveyed during Thanksgiving

Weekend through Cyber Monday.

The Compete study notes that  despite the slowdown in offline traffic, consumers continue to flock to the Web for their holiday shopping with department stores as the greatest beneficiaries of this trend. ,Traffic to department store Web sites rose an impressive 14% on Cyber Monday this year compared to last.

Additionally, says the report, once consumers went online, they tended to look for major deals and were shopping with the purpose of finding the best online discounts.  

Of the top 100 retailer sites, 47% of Cyber Monday traffic came from a coupon Web site in 2007, and in 2008, 62% came from a coupon site,  a 23.1% increase Y/Y.

 In general for Cyber Monday, the number of purchases was up 26% Y/Y, with coupon sites providing 62% of the traffic to the top 100 Retailers and 53% to the major department stores - an increase of 23 and 14%, respectively. 

Retail Web Site Visitors 2008 vs Corresponding Shopping Days in 2007

Unique Visitors

 2007

 2008

% change

Total for Week

 

 

 

   to Top 100 Retail

106,537,835

 109,974,572

3.1%

   to Dept. Stores

 55,865,042

 60,976,095

8.4%

   to Coupon Sites

 27,934,489

 28,038,219

0.4%

   % Top 100 - Coupon

20%

21%

1.3%

   % Dept. Stores - Coupon

27%

28%

0.8%

Time Spent at Top 100 Retail (min)

38.17

 40.38

5.5%

Cyber Monday

 

 

 

   to Top 100 Retail

 7,676,918

 7,690,510

0.2%

   to Dept. Stores

 4,798,623

 5,596,172

14.3%

   to Coupon Sites

 2,889,894

 3,030,100

4.6%

   % Top 100 - Coupon

47%

62%

23.1%

   % Dept. Stores - Coupon

45%

53%

14.2%

 

22.2%

 

 

Time Spent at Top 100 Retail (min)

 

 

10.5%

Source: Compete, December 2008

To view the complete comScore release, please visit here.

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